MPUSD Superintendent Marilyn Shepherd weighs in on parent movement for new charter school.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Bayview parents report that some 70 people turned out to learn more about a grassroots effort to convert their neighborhood school to an independent charter on Tuesday April 6. As the Weekly reported in its print edition the 80-plus year old building is a community landmark, and residents want to keep local kids in its classrooms.
But Monterey Peninsula Unified School District Superintendent Marilyn Shepherd, who returned calls too late to make the April 8 paper, warns, "The assumption they'd get automatically get Bayview is wrong."
"I beg to differ with Dr. Shepherd," says parent activist Joanna Greenshields, adding that the charter organizers' legal counsel has advised them that Prop 39, approved by the voters in 2000, gives them near assurance of snagging the Bayview building.
No one disagrees that the parents face an arduous approval process. The district must approve the group's proposed educational program, governance structure, and personnel policies, Shepherd says. The proposed student mix must also reflect the ethnic diversity of the school district."They are going to have a problem with that," Shepherd says.
Again, Greenshields disagrees, noting that 19 different languages are spoken in the homes of Bayview kids. The school's current ethnic mix, however, doesn't match the diversity of the district. Bayview's Latino population is 19 percent, compared to 40 percent district wide. It's percentage of African American students is less than half that of the district as a whole.
Bayview parents stress they want a diverse school population to participate in what they hope will be a rich educational experience.
They're working together to come up with a mission statement, and recruiting parents and teachers for the proposed school.